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International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River  

The Danube River basin takes in a total area of 801 463 km² across the territories of 19 countries (ICPDR 2009). As Europe’s second largest river basin, the Danube River basin contains critical ecosystems that are increasingly under pressure from development, urban expansion and pollution. The Danube River is considered the most important source of nutrient pollution in the Black Sea, as the river receives treated wastewater (ICPDR 2009) before draining into the Black Sea through the second-largest wetland in Europe (Wolf 2001). A history of political alliances and conflicts has led to difficult, and at times hostile, relations between the riparian countries (Wolf 2001).

Established in 1998, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) was established with a mandate to “ensure the sustainable and equitable use of waters and freshwater resources in the Danube River Basin” (ICPDR 2009). The ICPDR is tasked with implementing the Danube River Protection Convention and comprises delegations from all parties to the Convention.

The ICPDR has developed monitoring systems to manage various environmental issues within the Danube River basin:

  • Accident Emergency Warning System;
  • Water Quality Monitoring Network; and
  • Information System for the Danube (Danubis).

The Danube River Protection Convention provides the legal framework for integrated watershed management and environmental protection within the Danube River basin. The Convention was ratified in 1998, with the objectives of ensuring that the surface waters and groundwater within the Danube River Basin are managed and used sustainably and equitably (ICPDR 2009).

Danube River basin overview.
Source: ICPDR 2008
( click to enlarge )

 



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